Suspended police chief to receive pay

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Suspended Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell will continue to draw his salary until the resolution of a court case against him is resolved.

Stilwell will also be given retroactive pay dating back to May 11, when the Clanton City Council approved Mayor Billy Joe Driver’s decision to suspend Stilwell without pay based on charges of theft and fraudulent use of a credit card being brought against him.

In a resolution passed Monday by the Clanton City Council, resuming payments to Stilwell is an effort to comply with a section of Alabama law concerning pay of law enforcement officers during suspension (Section 11-43-230, et. seq., of the 1975 Code of Alabama).

Stilwell will not be resuming his duties in the police department.

Stilwell, 44, faces two charges related to his former position as treasurer of a local Fraternal Order of Police chapter.

Stilwell allegedly used a FOP credit/debit card to make unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals and purchases, according to court records.

He allegedly withdrew $200 from an ATM at Regions Bank in Clanton and exerted “unauthorized control of funds” belonging to the FOP by making unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals and making unauthorized purchases of $4,052.58, according to court records.

The lodge maintained only one bank account, which was used for everything from paying utility bills to collecting and distributing funds for the lodge’s annual Operation Santa Claus effort, which provided Christmas gifts for children.

Stilwell remains out of jail on a bond of $15,000.

He appeared in court May 19 for a preliminary hearing before special District Judge Glenn Goggans, who has been appointed to handle the case in Chilton County.

After hearing testimony from both the prosecution and defense, Goggans ruled there was probable cause on the two charges against Stilwell and bound them over to a grand jury.

The grand jury in Chilton County meets twice a year, once in February and once in August.

Stilwell’s case was not presented to the August grand jury, according to court records.

Stilwell’s annual salary as police chief is $59,566. He will be paid $2,291 every two weeks going forward, along with retroactive reimbursement for the payments he has missed since May 11.

Attorneys representing the city or Stilwell could not be reached by deadline Tuesday.

Driver declined to comment further on the situation.

In other business, the council:

•Approved an $11 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

•Approved a lounge retail liquor license for Cowboy Down Saloon, which will be located at 200 Big M Blvd. in Clanton.

•Approved to make Karen Porter’s employment full time in the city shop, after having completed a mandatory 90-day probationary period.

•Approved to make Anna Harrison’s employment full time at city, after having completed a mandatory 90-day probationary period.

•Approved the transfer of Brandon Easterling, a part-time employee, from the beautification department to the parks department.

•Approved the minutes from the Sept. 14 meeting.

•Approved paying necessary bills.